Home » Archive by category "Dog Health" (Page 2)

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can benefit from using food as medicine.  One of the most popular nutritional supplements that can be found in any grocery store is coconut oil.  The benefits of coconut oil for dogs will be discussed here. What is Coconut Oil? Coconut oil is derived directly from the coconut through a pressing process.  Coconut meat is pressed to extrude the oil, which contains a high amount of healthy acids, vitamins, and minerals.  Most notably, 90% of the fats in coconut oil are comprised of medium chain triglycerides, which have “superfood” health benefits. What are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs? Shiny Coat If your dog has a dull coat, coconut oil can be applied directly to your dog’s fur as a natural leave-in conditioner.  Alternatively, coconut oil contains beneficial acids, such as lauric acid, that can naturally improve your dog’s skin and coat condition. Healthy Skin...
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When Can My Puppy Go Outside?

After you bring home a new puppy it is natural to want to begin the socialization process immediately by having your puppy go outside for long walks or to the dog park.  However, many veterinarians and canine professionals recommend waiting until your pet is 4 – 5 months old before doing so. Your Puppy’s Immune System While your puppy is rapidly growing and developing during the first few months of age its immune system is not fully developed.  During this time, your pet will be especially vulnerable to diseases such as Parvo and Distemper, both of which have low survival rates among puppies.  For this reason, many veterinarians recommend that your dog not be introduced to other animals or spend too much time outdoors until 1 – 2 weeks after the puppy’s final vaccination booster, at approximately 16 – 18 weeks of age. Safe Socialization However, not going outdoors or visiting...
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Are Sticks Safe for Dogs to Play With?

Like bones, sticks are widely considered to be an appropriate toy for dogs.  However, illness, injury, and death can occur as a direct result of your dog chewing or chasing a stick.  Are sticks safe for dogs?  The answer, as well as safe alternatives, will be discussed here. Why Aren’t Sticks Safe for Dogs? Dogs interact with sticks in a number of ways.  First, dogs like to chew on sticks.  However, the stick’s surface can be home to parasites, viruses, and germs.  A dog can develop cuts and abrasions in his or her mouth when chewing on a stick, which can become infected if germs or viruses are introduced.  If a dog ingests certain parasites, such as fleas, a tapeworm infection can occur. Next, an owner may throw a stick to a dog during a game of fetch.  While this game is fun, it can become dangerous if the stick...
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How to Choose a Veterinarian for your Dog

The health care we provide our pets is important, whether as a preventative measure or during time of emergency.  One of the fundamental pillars of dog ownership is keeping our pets healthy, and doing so requires finding the best health care possible.  How to choose a veterinarian is described here. Ask for Recommendations The first step in understanding how to choose a veterinarian is to ask for recommendations.  Seek advice from other dog owners, employees at the local pet store, and animal rescues or shelters.  At the very least, these resources can tell you which veterinarians to avoid. Check Accreditations Next, check the accreditations of the veterinarians you are considering.  Look to see that their website carries the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) logo, which means the veterinarian has voluntarily chosen to hold him- or herself (as well as equipment and staff) to the highest standards. If you are looking...
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Can You Have a Vegan or Vegetarian Dog?

Dogs are often a reflection of ourselves and typically mirror our own social and political views.  After all, it should be no surprise that dog names like Beyonce, Dobby, Pikachu, and Snow (as in Jon) became more popular in 2016.  In addition to naming our dogs after pop culture and expecting them to partake in our favorite hobbies such as running, hiking, and cycling, we also like for them to follow similar dining habits.  With vegan and vegetarian diets becoming increasingly popular, you might wonder:  can you have a vegan or vegetarian dog?  Listed here are a few surprising facts about meat-free canines. One of the oldest living dogs was vegan. Bramble, a blue merle Collie, once held the Guinness Book World Record for oldest dog, reaching the age of 27 years old.  He resided in the United Kingdom and followed the dietary restrictions of his human.  Bramble ate a...
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Are you Using Dog Treats Correctly?

Three common problems in canine households include pet obesity, excessive begging, and bad behavior based on poor boundaries.  Before you blame your dog (or its metabolism), ask yourself whether your use of dog treats is to blame. Proper Use of Dog Treats The main reason dog treats exist is because dogs learn best with reward-based training.  Since dogs also have voracious appetites, food as a reward is the most logical choice when it comes to training.  In fact, any time a dog is given a reward, be it food, attention, or affection, the pet will repeat any behaviors that preceded the treat or belly rub.  Proper treat use means only giving a dog a reward when it has been earned.  For instance, your dog may receive a treat for sitting and shaking on command, or for peacefully going into his or her crate.  Benefits of proper use of treat include:...
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Should I Clean my Dog’s Food and Water Bowls?

An often overlooked aspect of pet ownership is hygiene.  While you are likely to bathe your dog when required, do you pay attention to the cleanliness of your pet’s everyday items?  A recent study performed by the National Institute of Health found that your dog’s food and water bowls were among the dirtiest objects in the entire household.  Tips for cleaning your dog’s food and water dishes are described here. The Importance of Daily Cleaning When your dog uses her food and water bowls, she leaves behind saliva and food particles that are full of bacteria.  This environment is often the perfect breeding ground for germs such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and the pink slime caused by Serratia Marcesens.  Not only can these bacteria spread to human residents in the household, but dogs that are in close contact with bacteria may develop diseases such as pneumonia. Just as you would...
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Is Doga Right for You and Your Dog?

If you practice yoga at home, chances are you have performed dog yoga without even realizing!  You may have found that your dog is ostensibly drawn to your yoga mat, or can’t resist the urge to lick your face while you pose in Downward Dog.  Did you know there is a yoga style, doga, which can be performed with your pup? What is Doga? Dog yoga is designed to be a fun activity for both dog and human.  While the workout is certainly different than would be received during a traditional yoga class, it is a great way to bond with your pet.  During doga, meditation, massage, and stretching are all part of a common routine.  You might help your dog achieve certain stretches, or even use your pet as a prop for poses. How is Doga Performed? For new dog yoga practioners, a book, DVD, or online videos  are the...
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Hidden Danger for Dogs: Xylitol

One of the most toxic substances for dogs has only surfaced in recent years, thanks to the health-conscious minds of today’s consumers.  A particularly scary aspect of this ingredient is that it is not always listed on a food’s label, and can appear in unlikely sources.  Everything you need to know about xylitol and the dangers it poses to your dog is discussed here. What is Xylitol? Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that adds sweetness to food without the calories or insulin-spike of sugar.  It is commonly added to sugar-free or “diet friendly” foods in order to make these items more palatable.  In addition, xylitol is less likely to cause side effects in humans, such as gastrointestinal upset, which is commonly experienced with sweeteners such as sorbitol. Which Foods Contain Xylitol? The most common sources of xylitol are sugar-free gum, breath fresheners, toothpaste, and most recently, certain brands of peanut...
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Preparing Your Dog For Winter

With Halloween just around the corner, the first signs of colder weather are upon us.  For your dog, this means opportunities to play in the snow and chase snowballs, while for you the winter will require a change in routine.  Tips for keeping your dog safe are listed below. Indoor Dog Coat Unless your dog is a northern breed such as an Akita or Siberian Husky, chances are that she will need an extra layer of protection when outdoors.  Small dogs and shorthaired breeds should wear a sweater or water-resistant jacket when temperatures are below freezing. Booties Snow, ice, and salt can all cause discomfort for your dog.  If your pet is a puppy or has sensitive paws, consider purchasing booties from the pet store that will provide an extra layer of protection. Pet-Safe Salt Dogs can experience burns and irritation to their mouths when licking road salt from their...
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